Journey: Band Members and History

crowded concert

Olaf Herschbach / Getty Images

For over 40 years, Journey has been one of the greatest classic rock bands of all time. The band has released 23 albums and 43 singles since 1975 and has reached worldwide album sales totaling more than 75 million. 

But how exactly did Journey come to be? The San Francisco band got its start in 1973. Santana's former road manager, Herbie Herbert, recruited two of that band's members (Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon) and former Steve Miller Band bassist Ross Valory to form the Golden Gate Rhythm Section—the band that later became Journey.

The original Journey band members included Gregg Rolie on vocals and the keyboard, Neal Schon on guitar and vocals, George Tickner on guitar, Ross Valory on bass and vocals, and Prairie Prince on drums. 

Their first album was released in 1975 and established the band's jazz-influenced progressive rock sound. After several personnel changes, Steve Perry signed on as lead vocalist, launching the band's greatest period of commercial success from the late 1970s through the mid-1980s. Many people remember Steve as the face of the band.

The Best Album

The group's seventh album, Escape, produced three hit singles and sold over 9 million copies. In addition to its commercial success, the album also received critical acclaim that has eluded them through most of their existence. Arguably, the most popular song put out by Journey is "Don't Stop Believin'." Originally released in 1981, the song became a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, debuting at No. 9. The song has been used in near countless films in American TV and cinema including Monster, Glee, the season finale of The Sopranos, and Rock of Ages. 

Journey Band Members Over the Years

In 2005, the band (along with original members Schon and Valory) marked its 30th anniversary with the release of its 23rd album, Generations and an anniversary tour, at times featuring some of the many former members of the group. In December 2006, Jeff Scott Soto replaced Steve Augeri as lead vocalist. Soto had been filling in for several months after Augeri was sidelined with a chronic throat infection. Soto was replaced a few months later by Arnel Pineda, vocalist for a Filipino cover band who was hired as a result of a video he posted on YouTube.

The band has been on a journey as it has evolved from past members including Steve Perry to its current members. 

Past Journey band members include the following:

  • Steve Perry (1977-1998)
  • Aynsley Dunbar (1974-1978)
  • Robert Fleischman (1977)
  • Steve Smith (1978-1985, 1995-1998)
  • Randy Jackson (1985-1987)
  • Steve Augeri (1998-2006)

Current Journey band members:

  • Neal Schon - guitar (1973-present)
  • Jonathan Cain - keyboards (1980-present)
  • Ross Valory - bass (1973-1985, 1995-present)
  • Arnel Pineda - vocals (2007-present)
  • Deen Castronovo - drums (1998-present)

Fun Facts About Journey

  • Journey music has been part of the animated TV shows South Park and Family Guy, and movies Caddyshack and BASEketball.
  • The group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005 and was inducted into the San Francisco Music Hall of Fame in 2003.